Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash

Paul Russo's wife just died.  While trying to get his family's life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife's spirit hostage on the other side.  His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor.  Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife's soul free.  (taken from the back of the book)

I was really excited to pick this book up for one main reason.  Cash just seems like such a nice guy!  I know it's prejudiced of me, but I definitely prefer nice authors and I always want to adore their books.  It doesn't always work out that way, but the friendly people make me want to move their books to the top of the list.  Of course, my review, as always, will be open and honest. 

Having recently watched Insidious, I found myself having that same 'Twilight Zone, what's going to happen next?'  feeling.  There's a haunting and mystical feel to the book that sucks you right in.  You can actually hear that creepy lulling music in the background of your mind as you're reading. 

Some of the characters are brilliant.  I wasn't in love with all of them, and a few fell flat for me.  The children and Gloria, the psychic, were wonderfully created.  They though were bit players, I longed to know more about each of them.  Paul, the main character, wasn't a favorite of mine.  That actually worked in favor of the book though because if I had been crazy about him, I would have spent most of the book angry at him for being so silly sometimes. 

My only complaint about the book is the predictability factor.  I'm sorry, Cash, but I have to be honest.  I don't want to post any spoilers, but I knew the end before it happened.  It didn't take anything away from my reading experience though.  Just because I knew what was going to happen, didn't mean I knew how it was going to happen and there were a few surprises thrown at me.  This was only during the mystery portion of the story though.  The supernatural portion kept me in suspense as well as the coping factor of all of the characters.

What I love most about this book is that it takes place over the course of a week.  It's separated into days.  At the end of each day I found myself thinking 'Wow!  What an exhausting day!'  and at the beginning of each day I found myself excited to see what the new day would bring.  It was like living life vicariously through Paul.  Even though I didn't like him, his life was interesting!

Those of you who love stories of demons, possession, hauntings and anything of the supernatural sort will enjoy this read.

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